PORT ELIZABETH – A handful of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University students protested at the main entrance of the campus today.
Students blocked the entrance at a traffic circle in University way in Summerstrand. A tyre was also set alight in the road.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) at NMMU said that it would shut down the institution together with students, to protest the 2017 fee increases announced by Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande.
The South African government has insisted that “well-off” families will have to cough up for the increased 2017 fees at institutions of higher learning, which it has recommended at an eight percent cap.
On Monday, Nzimande announced that tertiary education institutions across South Africa were now permitted to individually determine the level of their 2017 fees increase that their institutions require.
In a statement the SRC said some of the immediate issues that needed to be addressed, included students who were granted down-payment must be cleared of their debt, and given allowances.
“The students have expressed the fact that what the minister has announced does not address the problems that our students are facing, we all agreed that the poor and missing middle are systematically excluded through the lack of funding. We will only be liberated through free quality education for the poor.”
“We have also noted that although the strategic objective is free quality education, which is a national competence which reflects on the failures of government. We must however note that there are immediate issues that we need to address as an institution; students who were granted down-payment must be cleared of their debt, they must be given allowances,” the statement read.
The DASO-led SRC said a mass meeting would be held and a memorandum of demands will be discussed with students. NMMU management also agreed to meet with the students today.
– African News Agency